Past Oregon Library Association (OLA) Conference Programs, 1942 to Present

A few years ago I served on the Oregon Library Association (OLA) Programming Committee to help organize the annual conference. During that time, I was intrigued by the lack of access to past OLA conference programs, even to just the prior year. At the time, as a first time presenter at the conference I was also curious to see what kinds of past programs the Academic College Research Libraries (ACRL) Division of Oregon had sponsored in the past. I was also curious about the conference logos (as a graphic designer hobbyist) and general conference themes.

So I asked around, starting with my committee members. They, however, did not have any copies of past conference programs, except for the committee chair who only had the previous two years. I was sure that OLA would have digital copies of these somewhere. After all, the conference programs reflect the cultural history of this organization and provide context to the important issues facing libraries at the time. But I was wrong and there were no digital copies.

I continued to ask OLA officials, and a few had personal copies of years they attended stashed away in folders. Finally, someone had mentioned that the State of Oregon Library might have copies. So I verified this and setup an appointment to look through their collection. I was a little surprised to find them heaped in several cardboard boxes with thick layers of dust. As I began to look through them, it seemed as if they had been left in these boxes for decades, nearly forgotten in the depths of the building. But on the top was multiple copies of the conference program from the previous year. Thankfully someone had been collecting these over the years, or as I would find out later, had collected selectively.

Why didn’t someone provide copies of the OLA conference programs online? Were they viewed as unimportant? Was it really that much of an issue to scan these and put them online? When I asked these questions, the common answers I received were that “no one had ever felt the need to do so before,” “there have always been other digital projects that were more pressing,” and “maybe it needed to be scanned appropriately to retain the highest quality.” So they sat in boxes on a shelf in a dark room waiting for their chance to reappear. They must have been waiting for me!

So I obtained permission to borrow the boxes of programs from the State of Oregon Library to scan them, and over the course of several days I scanned all of the programs. I provided a copy of the scanned images to the State of Oregon Library as a thank you. And over the next two years of periodic work on this project, I cleaned up the scanned images, tracked down missing conference programs and information about the programs as best as I could, and placed what I had online. Below are the results.

I hope to analyze these programs and write a little more about the OLA conference history on this blog, and perhaps submit something to the Oregon Library Association Quarterly journal for publication. I’m especially excited about the OLA and Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL) vote at this year’s OLA and OASL Conferences (2012) to merge together. By looking through the past of OLA, the present and future may gain additional synergy and future growth. (Perhaps someone from the OASL would like to scan old conference programs too!) Enjoy these PDFs!

NOTE: While I did scan these documents and the general public may freely access these, copyright of the images and text in the documents belongs to the Oregon Library Association (OLA).  Until they are “properly scanned” and made available to the general public by OLA or another related professional organization, I intend to provide these scanned versions on this site (

As you’ll notice, several years are missing, particularly current years. If you have any of the missing conference programs, please contact John Repplinger at  These are the missing years: 1943, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1958, 1967, 1971, 1980

Oregon Library Association (OLA) Conference Programs

1946 to present (various date)

 1942 Program Cover

1942, January 24


1st Annual

(Mid-Winter Conference)

 Conference Summary & Signatures of Attendees

1943 Conference program is missing

1943 Conference Attendees
 1944 Program Cover

1944, May 6


2nd Annual


1945 Conference program is missing

 1946 Program Cover

1946, May 25


4th Annual


1947 Conference program is missing

 1948 Program Cover

1948, May 22


6th Annual


1949 Conference program is missing

1950 Conference program is missing

 1951 Program Cover

1951, May 19


9th Annual

“Let’s Develop”

 1952 Program Cover

1952, May 9-10


10th Annual

“Our American Heritage”

 1953 Program Cover


11th Annual

“Facing the Future: Books Speak for Themselves… Let the Librarians Speak, Too”

 1954 Program Cover

1954, April 30-May 1


12th Annual

“Oregon Libraries in Action”


1955, April 29-30

La Grande

13th Annual


1956, April 17-28


14th Annual


1957, May 3-4


15th Annual


1958 Conference program is missing


1959, May 8-9


17th Annual


1960, April 29-30


18th Annual


1961, April 28-29


19th Annual

“The Challenges of the Sixties”


1962, April 27-28


20th Annual

“The Book in the Picture”


1963, April 26-27


21st Annual

“The Library Meets the Community”


1964, April 23-25


22nd Annual

“Libraries – Oregon – 1964”


1965, April 22-24

Coos Bay

23rd Annual

“Design for Progress”


1966, April 28-30


24th Annual

“Planning for Progress”


1967 Conference program is missing


1968, April 25-27


26th Annual

“Vanquishing Boundaries in Librarianship”


1969, April 9-12


27th Annual


1970, April 16-18


28th Annual

“Libraries in the 70s are for people and books”


1971 Conference program is missing


1972, April 27-29


30th Annual

“Cushion Conflict with Cooperation”


1973, April 26-28


31st Annual

Action in Today’s World


1974, April 25-27


32nd Annual


1975, April 10-12


33rd Annual


& Revised Schedule (PDF)


1976, April 28-May 1

Lincoln City

34th Annual


1977, April 21-23


35th Annual


1978, April 20-22


36th Annual

“Statistics are the Beacon of Our Happy Life”


1979, April 19-21


37th Annual

“Looking Toward the 80’s”


1980 Conference program is missing


1981, April 22-25

39th Annual


1982, April 14-17

(1st OLA/WLA Conference)

40th Annual

“Libraries – Pure Gold”


1983, April 7-9


41st Annual

“Making Libraries Fit”


& Handout (PDF)


1984, April 11-14


42nd Annual

“OLA 1984”


1985, April 10-13


43rd Annual

“Oregon Libraries on the Next Frontier: Communication, Credibility, Creativity”


1986, April 20-23

Gleneden Beach

44th Annual

“Dewey Did – Do We? Or Back to Basics”


1987, April 22-25


45th Annual

“Libraries: Pure Gold2”


1988, April 6-9


46th Annual

“Libraries: Window to the World”


& Handout (PDF)


1989, April 5-8

Sun River

47th Annual

“Libraries Give us Wings”


& Map (PDF)


1990, March 28-31


48th Annual

“50 Year Celebration: 1940-1990”


& Handout (PDF)


1991, April 10-13


49st Annual

“Oregon Libraries: Together into the Future”


1992, April 8-11


50th Annual

(3rd OLA/WLA Conference)


1993, March 31- April 3


51st Annual

“Ideals into Action”


& Handout (PDF)


1994, April 6-9

Sun River

52nd Annual

“Commitment, Connection, Clout”


1995, April 26-29


53rd Annual

“Creating New Connections”


1996, April 26-27


54th Annual

“Oregon’s Promise: Intellectual Freedom”


1997, April 23-26


55th Annual
(OLA/WLA Conference)

“Get Wired, Get Inspired”


1998, March 30-April 1


56th Annual

“Reboot, Refresh, Restore”


1999, March 31-April 2


57th Annual

“Make a Wave: Educate, Advocate, Lead”


2000, April 5-7


58th Annual

“Libraries: A Proud Tradition, A Bright Future”


2001, March 28-30


59th Annual

“Libraries: A Proud Tradition, A Bright Future”


2002, April 17-20


60th Annual

“Building Bridges”


& Additional Program Information (PDF)


2003, April 23-25


61st Annual

“Steering the Flexible Course”


2004, April 14-16


62nd Annual

“Diversity, Not Window Dressing”


2005, April 6-8


63rd Annual

“The Power in Collaboration”


2006, April 5-7


64th Annual

“Thriving on Change, Embrace the Possibilities”


2007, April 18-20


65th Annual

“Civics, Cyberspace, Change”


2008, April 16-18


66th Annual

“OLA/WLA: Sharing More Than a Boarder”

 2008 Exhibitor List

2009, April 1-3


64th Annual

“One State, Many Stories”


2010 Cancelled

Due to PLA Conference in Portland


2011, April 6-8


69th Annual

“Libraries Build Communities Build Libraries”


2012, April 25-27


70th Annual

“Right at the Heart of Things”


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on May 10, 2012, in Education, Libraries, Oregon Library Association and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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